The Weekly Grind: Sept. 23 – Sept. 30

Drink in the week’s most important stories — all in one place. In the time it takes to drink your first cup of coffee, we’ll help you get caught up.



Dave Rimington at news conference (UNL News photo)

Huskers name temporary athletic director

Dave Rimington was named the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s interim athletic director after Shawn Eichorst was fired Sept. 21. Rimington is a former Husker football player who had great success throughout his collegiate career at NU. His tenure is scheduled to be up to 60 days while university officials search for his permanent successor.

“I’m so pleased that we could count on Dave Rimington, who is a Husker through and through, to answer our call to lend his administrative expertise and unwavering support for Nebraska Athletics during this key time of transition,” Ronnie Green, NU Chancellor, said. (Omaha World-Herald)

UNL plans to update Stadium loop

In late December, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will start working on a project to upgrade the Memorial Stadium loop outside of the stadium. The redesign will change parking in the lot and flow of traffic. The university hopes to increase safety and add to its sustainability efforts.

“This is really an extension of the university’s ongoing efforts to follow best practices in sustainability,” said Brooke Hay, assistant director of facilities planning and construction.

The $2.3 million project is projected to be finished by August 2018. (Nebraska Today)

Campus buildings will be getting a facelift

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has plans to renovate four buildings on campus. The process is in the initial planning stages.

During his State of the University address, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green said the project includes the College of Engineering, Kauffman Residential Center, Neihardt housing complex and the Ruth Staples Child Development Lab.

Since these projects are still in initial planning, current UNL students will most likely not see the finished projects as undergrads.(Daily Nebraskan)

You can bid on a Nebraska heart sculpture

The heart sculptures you’ve probably seen across Lincoln will be auctioned off on Oct. 6. The 89 hearts scattered across the city are a public art project named “Nebraska by Heart.”

The bid minimum will be $1,500 per sculpture and the money raised will be split into thirds between the artists and two sponsoring non-profit organizations. (Lincoln Journal-Star)



Donald Trump talking on phone (The New Yorker)

Trump’s proposed tax plan looks nice for the rich

President Trump announced a new tax plan on Wednesday. The president assured the nation he wouldn’t personally benefit financially from any of the proposed tax cuts, but the numbers don’t add up.

If passed into law, America’s wealthiest citizens would benefit greatly from a number of different repeals including the estate tax, alternative minimum tax and most deductions. Based off his 2005 tax returns, the president himself stands to save over $1.1 billion. (New York Times)

Trump, N. Korean leader in a war of words

President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un spent the week exchanging threatening statements, even hinting at nuclear conflict. The tense standoff comes after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. Before the United Nations general assembly, President Trump warned the 33-year-old dictator that the United States would “totally destroy” the nation of 25 million people if the U.S. was forced to defend itself. Un responded by calling the president “mentally deranged.”

Tensions continued throughout the week with the president sending warplanes over North Korea. The North Koreans said Trump’s words are a declaration of war. According to North Korean state media, 4.7 million students and workers have expressed interest in enlisting in the country’s military. Trump insisted he has not declared war. (The Washington Post) and (The New York Times)

Football took a political twist

A year after the discussion of former-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s controversial protest kneeling during the national anthem, the protest has spread across the league once more. It all began when Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry refused an invite to the White House last week. The president rescinded the invitation and went to Alabama to drum up support. Trump brought up the kneeling protest during a rally speech, declaring any “son of a bitch” who kneels during the national anthem should be taken off the field.

His comments received backlash from the National Football League, with entire teams kneeling. Kneeling began as a protest against police violence against African Americans, but some argue this has been buried beneath a national argument about patriotism. Opponents of kneeling claim the players are disrespecting the sacrifice of fallen soldiers, while proponents argue they’re exercising the rights those soldiers died for. (The Washington Post)

Trump tweets as Puerto Rico cries for help

Puerto Rico was steamrolled by Hurricane Maria and is still in dire need of help. The island still has almost no electricity, and 90 percent of the cell phone towers are out of service, making communication very difficult. Half of the population is without clean water, and food is scarce.

The Trump administration is under scrutiny for not doing enough. The administration says it is having trouble getting as much aid to the island than it did for both Texas and Florida because the terrain is logistically difficult to navigate. The administration stands firm that it is doing everything possible to send food, water and aid to Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted criticism of Puerto Rican officials who complained about the slow federal response to the crisis. (The Verge) and (CNN)


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Crowd waving Catalonia flags (The Independent)

Catalonia is trying to split from Spain – again

Catalonia, in the northwest region of Spain, is holding a referendum on whether the state should secede from Spain on Oct. 1. This isn’t the first time. In 2014 there was a vote, but the election was considered unconstitutional by the national government in Madrid.

Things between Catalonia and Madrid have been tense for a long time. Francisco Franco, who was the military dictator in Spain from 1939 until 1975, worked to destroy the cultures and languages native to Spain. Catalonia, which has its own culture and language, was targeted. There are still many hard feelings about this, and it is one of the leading factors of Catalonia’s wanting to leave.

The people in Catalonia are split on how to vote. Those who want to secede say that Catalonia is basically already independent – they have their own government, language and source of revenue. Those on the opposition say that it is illegal to split from Spain and they should try to work it out. (The Guardian)

Iraqi Kurds vote to say goodbye to Baghdad

The Iraqi Kurds held a vote on whether to work toward independence on Sept. 25. The region in northern Iraq had an overwhelming majority — 92 percent of voters — saying the Kurds should begin talks about secession with the national government in Baghdad.

The international community has weighed in, not giving much support to the Kurds. The White House said this vote is distracting from the campaign against ISIS. The United Nations, European Union, and Arab Leagues have urged the Kurdish president Massoud Barzani to abandon the vote and talk with Baghdad.

Kurdish people are an ethnic minority in the Middle East of roughly 30 million people. They make up roughly 20 percent of the population in Iraq, 19 percent in Turkey and 10 percent in both Syria and Iran. But the Kurdish people have never had an independent nation, which has created a push for independence throughout the region. (CNN)

The far-right looms over Merkel

Angela Merkel won her fourth term as chancellor of Germany on Sept. 24. Merkel, who has been the chancellor for 12 years, will have to contend with a far-right party which is now the third largest in the country.

The Alternative for Germany party is the first far-right party to enter the German Parliament in 60 years. The party ran on an anti-immigrant platform. The party was created four years ago and has steadily been gaining traction. The Alternative for Germany now has 12.6 percent of the votes and more than 90 seats in parliament. (USA Today) and (BBC)



Tension in Cuba could lead to embassy closing

The U.S. State Department announced Sept. 29 it will pull over half its American embassy staff in Cuba after a series of attacks against 21 people associated with the embassy.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had spoken of potentially closing the embassy in Havana in case the Cuban government was behind the attack. This is likely not the case, as the nation invited the FBI to come to Havana and investigate the attacks.

American officials are investigating the possibility that a third government may be involved. (The New York Times)

The Skimm founders come to UNL

Founders of the popular newsletter theSkimm will be at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this week to headline a women’s leadership conference.

Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin will speak at the Nebraska Women’s Leadership conference on Friday morning.

But you can catch them in Andersen Hall at 2:45 p.m. Friday, when they speak to students in Room 15. The talk is open to anyone. (Nebraska Today)



America’s oldest playboy dies

Playboy founder and former editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner died on Thursday evening at 91-years-old. He was found in his infamous Playboy Mansion.

Hefner is known for being one of the premier male sex icons of the 20th century. His complicated legacy includes accolades for being an early supporter for the Civil Rights movement and the LGBT equality movement. (The Washington Post)


Curation by Ellis Clopton, Johnny Keeley and Elissa Kroeger


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